It might just be the gluten-free brainwashing, but I’m a little bored with Christmas cakes and cookies. This year, my holiday dessert of choice is Christmas ice cream.
I’m not alone, judging by the growing menu of holiday ice creams at the grocery store. While any mint-flavored ice cream would fit right in with the season, limited-time-only holiday ice creams take it up a notch.
Blue Bell Ice Cream has been concocting special holiday flavors for four years now. This year’s new flavor is Peppermint Bark, an addictive combination of not-too-minty ice cream with dark chocolate chunks, white chocolate chunks and crushed peppermint candies. It joins a family of holiday flavors that includes Christmas Cookies, Fudge Divinity and Spiced Pumpkin Pecan.
Mayfield Dairy’s Peppermint Stick ice cream features a skiing reindeer on the carton, instead of Mayfield’s signature yellow.
Publix Premium ice cream holiday flavors include Pumpkin Pie, Peppermint Stick, Eggnog and Santa’s White Christmas (ice cream that tastes like Santa’s White Christmas coffee from Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen, sprinkled with choco-espresso flakes).
Blue Bunny ice cream has a couple of flavors appropriate this time of year: Duff Goldman’s Red Carpet Red Velvet Cake, or Hot Chocolate con Churros (cinnamon-spiced chocolate ice cream with cinnamon-sugar churro pieces).
ALTON BROWN’S EGGNOG ICE CREAM
This rich, creamy ice cream is delicious spiked or unspiked.
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 ounces bourbon (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until the yolks lighten in color and the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 40 degrees F, approximately 4 to 6 hours.
Once chilled, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve as is for soft-serve, or place in an airtight container and put in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours for traditional ice cream.
Gourmet popsicles also in holiday flavors
Frios gourmet popsicles, made in Gadsden, come in all sorts of winter flavors. At the Frios flagship store, 414 Broad St. in Gadsden, the seasonal flavors include eggnog, gingerbread, chocolate-peppermint, Russian tea, mulled cider, cranberry-orange and Christmas Stocking, which is a milk chocolate popsicle studded with bits of Butterfinger, Kit Kat and Reese’s Pieces.
In Calhoun County, select flavors of Frios pops are available at Hubbard’s Off Main and Mellow Mushroom in Oxford, and at Java Jolt in Jacksonville. Holiday flavors available are eggnog, spiced apple, caramel and gingerbread.